By Jeroen Robbe
Meditative tool to develop awareness in order to increase our capacity to show up, work together and bring about change in the world.
Following the breath is a meditative practice to develop our capacity to “concentrate”. It means learning to gather our attention – our mental energy – in one place so that we have more of it available to us. We are practicing being able to be present with and focused on something, so that in our day to day lives, we are able to be more present with and focused on what is happening, what we are doing, what we want to direct our attention to. We are effectively training to show up for our lives, relationships and work with more and ‘better’ of ourselves.
How does this tool support leaderful movements?
The quality of awareness that we bring to situations influences how we experience everything – ourselves, our work, our relationships, our groups, and the wider world. It is important to realize that we have agency in this area.
We can often assume that how we think and feel is ‘just how it is’ or ‘how we are’, but neuroplasticity (if you want the science) and experience show that that is not necessarily the case. We can take a huge amount of responsibility for developing our mental and emotional capacities in ways that will support us to engage with our experience, other people and our organizations more sustainably, more helpfully, and more creatively too.
There’s an inseparable connection between who we each are as individuals, how we show up for others and work together, and how we bring about change in the world. If we can’t claim agency in our own minds and hearts, we can’t expect ourselves to develop the skills and qualities necessary to build the healthy, sustainable and effective leaderful movements we need, for everybody.
The practice of following the breath supports growth in several leaderful organizing competency areas. By increasing our capacity to show up, it increases our capacity to embrace and practice healthy leadership. As our breath is always available and helps us to anchor and respond to reality, even when this reality is challenging, it is a valuable tool to increase our capacity for responsive action, as well as to grow our ability for resilience & regeneration.
- Psychosocial Resilience and Regenerative Activism Training Manual
See session plans for:
- Structured following the breath practice (Meditative) – page 137. This session plan is intended to support you to facilitate the activity for a group.
- Freeform following the breath – page 133.
- The radical embrace – has some beautiful practices too to work with the breath.
- Insight Timer – Free app
- Leaderful Organizing Tool: Body Scanning and Cultivating Somatic Awareness
- Sustaining Ourselves as Activists
- 10 Great Resources on Activist Wellbeing
- Wellbeing resources in the Commons Library
- More from the Leaderful Organising Collection